Thomas Hoepker (born 1936) is a German photographer and member of Magnum Photos known for stylish color photo features. He also documented the 9/11 World Trade Center destruction.
Hoepker first began taking pictures when he was 16 and hist grandfather gave him an old 9×12 glass plate camera. He developed his prints in his family’s kitchen and bathroom, and began to earn a little money by selling pictures to friends and classmates. Hoepker studied art history and archaeology from 1956 to 1956 at Goettingen, in Munich, Germany, where he was taught about understanding images and composition. While in school he continued to photograph and sell images to help finance his education. From 1960 to 1963 he worked as a photographer for Münchner Illustrierte and Kristall, reporting from around the world. Then in 1964 he began working as a photojournalist for Stern (magazine). In the 1970s he also worked as a cameraman for German TV, making documentary films. In 1976 he and his wife, journalist Eva Windmoeller, relocated to New York as correspondents for Stern. From 1978 to 1981 he was director of photography for American Geo. From 1987 to 1989 Hoepker was based in Hamburg, working as art director for Stern.
Magnum Photos first began distributing Hoepker’s photographs in 1964. Hoepker became a full member in 1989. He served as Magnum President from 2003 to 2006.
For much of his career Hoepker used Leica cameras. In the 1970s he began to also use Single-lens reflex cameras alongside his Leica, using Leicas for wide angle shots and Nikon or Canon cameras with zoom lenses. In 2002 he began using digital SLRs.
Today, Hoepker lives in New York with his second wife Christine Kruchen, with whom he produces TV documentaries.